Interviewee ID: 990446
Parent's name: Gotov
Year of Birth: 1943
Occupations: Director, State Central Library
Notes on education: Russian language and lit. teacher
Born in: Matad sum, Dornod aimag
Lives in: Sühbaatar sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: housewife
Father's profession: primary school teacher
To read a full interview with Akim please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 091102A with Akim by Khishigsüren
G. Akim was born in1943 in a place called Temeet Matad sum in Dornod aimag as the son of the man named Gotov. He has translated into Mongolian many classics of world literature, such as ‘Scaffold’, and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. He had written many literary works including, ‘Bestowal of Chinggis’ Wisdom’, ‘Heavenly Dog’, ’Chinggis Khan or the Blessed Encounter of the Blue Mongolians’. He is a top translator and writer.
In 1990, thanks to democracy, the journalists overcame the closed period and obtained the right to write openly. Together with his good friends he founded 'Il Tovchoo' newspaper with the slogan ‘to recover Mongolia’ and worked there. Especially at that time there were no relations with the people of the so-called capitalist countries. In Russia, Gorbachev’s glasnost' had begun and so Russian books began to flood in. World literature was totally different. At that time the ideology department of the Central Committee approved the books that were to be translated. Some people had praised to heaven a book they read in Mongolian, even though they couldn’t understand it in Russian.
Akim wrote an article called ‘Hu Nam’ where he wrote about the MPRP’s repression of the people and how they used to drive people to meat production. Because of that article the MPRP asked the court to award them 83,000 tögrögs because the Party had 83,000 members. Thus it started a lawsuit against me. I had won the case because there were the documents taken from the Ministry of Public Security (ie, the secret police). The MPRP appealed the decision and the Supreme Court acknowledged that the MPRP had truly repressed the people. In fact, the years of my work at Il Tovchoo were full of adventure.
Summary of Interview 091102B with Akim by Khishigsüren
It was a time when the Marxists, the atheists of that period, themselves ran to the lamas with hadags in their hands but we were prohibited to do so. If a slightly famous person, who had been registered visited Gandan, he would be placed on the lists of the Internal Ministry (Dotood yam – the secret police). Though the major lamas had been repressed, their disciples still remained and they used to read the sutras and do the rituals. With the rise of democracy in 1990 the Union of the Believers was founded. I wrote a letter to the Dalai Lama in1990 saying that the resurgence of religion in Mongolia should mean reading religious books in our own Mongolian language [as opposed to Tibetan]. The Dalai Lama said this was possible, but it has not still happened.
The relations between bosses and military of the socialist period were very different. Under socialism, people with authority were very important. For example, the members of the Political Bureau all lived in the houses in the valley in mountain to the south [of Ulaanbaatar]. The ministers and the deputy ministers had a special store that served only them while the people queued to get bread and meat. We have never thought that socialism would end. It is only thanks to democracy that we can talk freely and become acquainted with development. We are proud of democracy.
Concerning philosophy, we use the principle of complementary opposites [lit: 'method and wisdom']. Especially in Mongolia these two should go hand in hand.
During the socialist period, we were moving toward what is called urbanization. If we look back to the 1960s the city population was low. Today, urbanization went too far and Ulaanbaatar can't cope with it. Although we talk about urbanization, there are the drivers who haven't got accustomed to the culture and they drive here and there just like riding a horse. But they do not hurry to finish their work in the same way that they would gallop about on horses.